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"Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer." -Dave Barry
There are 4 different products needed to brew beer at home...
1. Equipment Kit
2. Recipe Kit (Ingredients)
3. Brewing Kettle (Stock Pot)
The easiest way to getting started in homebrewing is buying an Equipment Kit.
A basic equipment kit will typically include:
6.5 Gallon Fermenter and Lid
6.5 Gallon Bottling Bucket with Spigot
Airlock (Keeps air out of the fermenter)
Hydrometer (Determines alcohol content)
Racking Tube with Bucket Clip
More advanced kits can come with additional equipment, ingredients for recipes, bottles, kegs, etc…
While its enjoyable to make your own recipes its recommended in the beginning to buy packaged recipes from vendors until you get the process down. For first time brewers it is recommended to brew an Ale. Ales ferment at room temperature and are ready to drink faster than lagers. Styles to start with are Pale Ales, Cream Ales, and Blonde Ale.
The brewing process requires the brewer to mix and boil the ingredients from recipe kits in a stock pot. Many brewers might already have a stock pot in their kitchen that might work for this process. The minimum pot size must be at least 3-4 gallons (5-6 gallons is recommended). Stainless steel, Enamel, Aluminum(pre-boiled) and Silverstone coated pots will work fine.
Five gallons of beer will require 52-56 twelve ounce beer bottles. Roughly two cases of 24 and a six pack. Any sizes of bottles will work (11oz, 16 oz, 22oz, 24 oz, etc..) ,Shipping glass bottles can get expensive due to the shipping weight. Most homebrewers collect empty bottles as they drink them, rinse them out and use them for their homebrew. The bottles can not be screw off bottles. They must be pop top bottles.